Rural Metro Fire promotes Devlin

Jeff BagwellOur Town Heroes

Jeffrey Devlin has been promoted to assistant chief of Rural Metro Fire. He replaces Deputy Chief Gene Blaylock, who retired.


Devlin will be responsible for all Knox County operations. The 29-year veteran was previously a battalion chief, commanding the eight western-most fire stations on his shift.

“We’ve always known Jeff to be an officer of intelligence and ability,” said Rural Metro Fire Chief Jerry Harnish, “and the fact that he competed successfully against 15 candidates from departments in 11 states confirms it.”

Chief Devlin joined Rural Metro when he went through the recruit fire academy in 1990. He has risen through the ranks to firefighter/paramedic, lieutenant, captain, battalion chief and now assistant chief.

Devlin received a bachelor’s degree in fire administration from the University of Memphis in 2003 and a master’s degree in safety from the University of Tennessee in 2009. He is a 2014 graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and a 2015 chief fire officer designee through the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

In his new post, he is responsible for the operations of the department’s 18 fire stations in Knox County as well as over 200 men and women. His crews answer more than 16,000 calls for emergency assistance every year and protect 240,000 residents in Knox County and the town of Farragut.

Devlin lives with his wife, a University of Tennessee faculty member, and his son, a Webb School sophomore, in Farragut.

Captain Jeff Bagwell handles public information for Rural Metro Fire.

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